47 Comments
Apr 30Liked by Bill Astore

Violence is the end state of the quest for obedience. So where in the Constitution does it say the purpose of government is to make the people obey? Nowhere, actually.

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author

Strong point, Alex. In fact, America was founded in an act of disobedience, a refusal to obey the King of England. Hence the importance of the First Amendment, which is under attack every day by the government.

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Apr 30·edited Apr 30

I remember reading that Lenin and the Bolsheviks figured about 10% of the Soviet population would have to be killed off to make the rest come to heel. Not sure if Lenin got there but I would guess Stalin did. Mission accomplished!

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founding

Where in the Constitution does it say ~ accurately and with implementation ~ exactly WHAT that "purpose of government" is to in fact be?

One of the most important questions Americans [and everybody else on this Planet] still capable of thinking for themselves needs to start asking themselves is exactly that: "Exactly what IS the purpose of 'government;"?

Is it to meet Human Needs and satisfy Human Wants?

Or is it solely to protect Human Rights and facilitate the fulfillment of Human Responsibilities?

The reason that this is so critical is because there is no way that any government can meet the Needs and satisfy the Wants of SOME of its Citizens without violating the Human Rights and ignoring the Human Responsibilities of different groups of the rest of those Citizens.

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The Preamble: "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

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founding

That does a great job of addressing the government's role in honoring and protecting Human Rights [Justice, Tranquility, defence, and Blessings of Liberty] , but it also sets the stage for the government to be involved in the meeting of Human Needs and the satisfaction of Human Wants [promote the general Welfare].

Which is exactly what the problem is.

The Preamble to the Declaration of Independence does a better job of explaining the proper function of with its to focus on Rights, and no mention of Needs and Wants:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. THAT TO SECURE THESE RIGHTS, GOVERNMENTS ARE INSTITUTED AMONG MEN, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

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It's supposed to do my laundry.

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founding

???

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It's supposed to be the managers we appoint to do jobs for us.

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founding

Ahhh.

But then the Real Question becomes: For what specific "jobs" have we appointed them to be the "managers"?

What are those people in this government we have "appointed" Supposed to be doing? As opposed to what they are doing now? And have been, for a long, Long time.

Like since the beginning of the Human systems of "Government" and "Governance."

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Agreed. The Public needs to be educated, from a young age, that they're the Boss. That's a better position than using disconnected hopelessness as excuse for laziness. All citizens should be activists in some way, whether working at a dog shelter or protecting human rights.

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deletedMay 1
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founding

No, Dennis: My conclusion is not that everybody on the Planet needs to be governed by anarchy.

First of all, anarchy is a condition in which there is no functional and functioning government. So to be “governed by anarchy” is a contradiction in terms.

And i said nothing at all about the purpose of government being to meet Human Needs and to satisfy Human Wants.

In fact, what i said was that government should NOT be in the business of meeting Needs and satisfying Wants, and gave the reason why it should not be: Because the only way any government can meet the Needs and satisfy the Wants of SOME of its Citizens is by violating the Human Rights and ignoring the Human Responsibilities of the rest of the Citizenry.

HUMAN NEEDS are Health, Prosperity, Security, Literacy, the Pursuit of Wants, and Peace.

HUMAN RIGHTS are Life, Liberty, Property, Privacy, the Pursuit of Happiness, and Truth.

HUMAN RESPONSIBILITIES are to honor and protect the Human Rights of every Human Being, and to help meet the Human Needs and satisfy the Human Wants of other Human Beings.

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deletedMay 1
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founding

Smells to me more like baited breath, Dennis; but let me see what i can offer You.

The “solution for governance” is to get Government completely out of the business of meeting Human Needs and, particularly, the business of satisfying Human Wants.

The sole purpose, function, and business of Government would then be to preserve and protect the Human Rights of its Citizens, and to facilitate satisfying the Human Responsibilities of those Citizens.

As stated earlier:

HUMAN NEEDS are Health, Prosperity, Security, Literacy, the Pursuit of Wants, and Peace.

HUMAN RIGHTS are Life, Liberty, Property, Privacy, the Pursuit of Happiness, and Truth.

HUMAN RESPONSIBILITIES are to honor and protect the Human Rights of every Human Being, and to help meet the Human Needs and satisfy the Human Wants of other Human Beings.

Which means that there would ~ as there should ~ be a complete separation of, for example, Health Care and The State and Education and The State; for the same reasons that there should be a complete separation of Religion and State.

Any questions up to this point?

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Apr 30Liked by Bill Astore

Bill, as you said, there is desperation in the establishment (or as I call them, the owners). I think they are desperate to stop what's been growing since at least 2016, and return to the rules-based forms they want us to obey.

I think the 2016 election was a watershed - perhaps for different reasons than just despair over the orange man. It was an election that was primarily about discontent and protest. Both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump spoke to the economic fears of the majority of our citizens. Didn't matter they didn't agree on specific problems or solutions, or even had a plan (certainly true of Trump). Something was brewing.

It was only the Democrats nomination of the despicable Hillary Clinton that kept it tamped down and prevented an open discussion and argument about the best ways to resolve the economic inequality that was beginning to crush most citizens.

January 6th was the first outburst to what might be called the counter-revolution election of Biden that was intended legally or illegally to return to the rules-based forms of the owners.

I suspect this year's election is another effort to continue a return to the rules-based forms. Biden is certainly onboard. Trump for all the hysteria, seems a much different man - more beaten down by the owners, and more than willing to obey in terms of support for both Israel and Ukraine.

Whoever wins the election is a lame duck - second terms are typically disappointments no matter who is elected. I see nothing to think that either a Biden presidency or a Trump presidency will change that.

But now comes the protests on the college campuses - it is starting with genocide in Gaza, and is already growing to include divestiture from Israel and US war profiteers. It wouldn't be a leap from there to talking about what began with Occupy Wall Street. And if they or the 1/6 protestors were to meet and talk - then the owners will have something to really fear.

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Your last sentence--so true.

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founding

Given what the Occupy and 1/6 folks actually, really accomplished in the Real World, Bill, on what basis do those "owners" have Anything to fear?

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deletedMay 1·edited May 1
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founding

My answer, Dennis, is that those "owners" have nothing to fear from the Occupy or 1/6 folks.

What did Occupy accomplish in the Real World? What did the folks celebrating 1/6 accomplish?

Anything of any significant use to anybody except themselves? Anything that has lasted beyond the activities themselves? Anything that inflicted any lasting, meaningful damage to those "owners," or had any tangible impact on how they do business?

Anything that actually Changed anything in America?

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deletedMay 1·edited May 1
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founding

What impact did Occupy have then that is still having its effect today? Or that led to any kind of significant, lasting changes then?

That people can go to a demonstration and ask questions?

And what did those folks ask questions about that anybody ~ on Wall Street or in Washington, DC ~ actually answered?

And finally, what happened to Occupy? How come it disappeared almost as quickly as it materialized?

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founding

Do You really think that the Occupy Wall Street and the Jan 6 Folks have anything Whatsoever in common, or to "meet and talk about"? If so, exactly What?

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They're equally screwed by the economic system. It's been a basis for unlikely groups joining together in the past, e.g., Fred Hampton's Rainbow Coalition in 1969

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deletedMay 1·edited May 1
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founding

Thinking about a bit, my answer is that i doubt very many ~ if any ~ people who were Occupiers were upset that Trump lost in 2020.

And it's not hard to estimate how many celebrated when Trump won in 2016.

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deletedMay 1
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founding

Quite sure.

Anybody who occupies any time or space in my head pays rent. And for Flaming Assholes like Trump ~ or Biden, or Obama, or Cheney/Bush the Lesser, or Clinton, or Bush the Elder and Bozo, or The Peanut farme ~ rent is tripled.

So how many people who were Occupiers do You think voted for Trump in 2016 and/or 2020, and were happy when he won and were upset when he lost? Got any numbers on that?

My guess is that both numbers are very close to ZERO.

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founding

If i had an answer to that question, Dennis, i wouldn't be asking it.

And what about good prosecuting attorneys? Do they ask any questions they don't know the answer to?

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I will be turning 79 this coming summer and during the 60's I was conscientious objector, a war resister (facing prison at one point) along with being a draft and military counselor. I have marched, planted crosses in the UW in the middle of a night as a protest against the Vietnam War, was part of freeway takeover march, been spit at, yelled at and on and on. Yes, there was often violence by police and military (think Kent and Jefferson state), against protestors, but what I see now happening is way beyond what happened in many protests against the Vietnam War. The fruits of the work done by AIPAC and ADL and others now is being harvested so that only the "survival of Israel" and the removal of the perceived vast antisemitism of anyone who questions the genocide occurring . The overwhelming savagery of the police at the behest of the educational/government/military complex is truly evidence of such fear that their control is slipping badly.

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founding

As Mike Hampton put it earlier: Thanks for marching.

And Your conclusion about the "overwhelming savagery of the police at the behest of..." nails it completely, Duncan.

The question is: What will be the response of that e/g/m complex when that control slips even further?

Tyranny? Terror? Both? Something else?

And more importantly, what can the American Peoples do to prevent any and/or all of that from happening?

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The justification for the police to invade and attack the demonstrators at Columbia last night was the absurd notion that "outside agitators" had taken control of the protest and the campus. One of the key things we learned in the 1960's was that if there were actions that were violent and/or provocative, those committing such actions were often the undercover agents of the police and intelligence agencies. I saw it happen again and again.

I was just many who marched, and so glad to see the determination of the students who are such a beacon of hope at this time. I fear that Tyranny and Terror are certainly likely in the future, but the voices heard on campus and off campus tell of a community that will not be silenced where resistance will be nurtured and given against the complex of tyranny.

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20 years in Vietnam

10 years Afghanistan.

Our troops remain in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya and many other places (the list is endless)

And for 7 months now our politicians and MIC and tax dollars are helping the apartheid state of Isreal commit genocide on Palestinians.

One add on: we fomented the coup in Ukraine in 2014 and its been constant war to present.

*Horrific we Americans be*

We feed the insatiable MIC beast

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founding

Good point, but that was 20 Years in Afghanistan.

And if You include America's bankrolling, equipping, supplying, and transporting France's attempt to reclaim the Colonies it lost to Japan in WWII starting in 1946 in what the Vietnamese term the "French ~ as opposed to the "American ~ War," You can make it 29 years in Vietnam.

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our horrific past haunts us. Appriiate your corrections.

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THE WEST vs THE REST

Is the West launching an all-out war against global ‘South,’ against the BRICS – plus, against the ‘other’? Are we in the first stages of a civilizational struggle initiated by the U.S.-led assemblage we call the “collective West”? That would have seemed an absurd idea until very recently. How can one reconcile such a dire proposition in the age of Globalization, of inter-dependence? Where is the threat of a magnitude and immediacy that might stir that kind of thinking?

Yet, there are remarkable developments on the world scene that suggest that dramatic alterations indeed are in the offing. Let us examine them; then interpolate what systemic meaning they might auger.

Palestine is the most revealing, graphic indicator that something is badly askew in the mentality of political elites in North America and Europe – with resonance among their accommodating publics. Complicity in the genocidal actions of Israel in Gaza – accompanied by pogroms in the West Bank – is a stunning phenomenon. It forces us to reconsider who we in the West are and what we stand for. Few could have imagined that our celebrated moral compass being unmoved by the most gross, calculated crimes against humanity committed on our doorstep in full view. Indeed, declared publicly and repeatedly by those perpetrating them.

This is not a display of indifference toward genocide as took place in distant (geographically and culturally) Rwanda 30 years ago. Rather, we are talking active participation in the form of massive arms deliveries, political encouragement, diplomatic cover, and promotion of fictional rationales that justify, even encourage, the slaughter.

Discourse centers on the modalities, on marginal moves, on the exact wording of communiques. In Western societies there is virtually no engagement with the compelling moral issues that distinguish the Palestine tragedy. Nor, for that matter, there much confronting of the wider geo-strategic issues that frame events in Palestine-Israel. We are witnessing the passionate cheer-leading, the uniformity of emotion and attitude, the righteous that we associate with wars. However, no Western country has serious security or economic stake in the current crisis. Quite the contrary, by every objective criteria America and its partners are suffering a costly loss of influence in the region, across the Islamic world, and elsewhere in the non-West. Most important for the long term is the strong boost its giving to consolidation of the already well-advance Sino-Russian led bloc.

The impressions of the West’s performance beyond its members’ self-regarding sphere is diametrically different. Most obviously, the West is condemned for its hypocrisy, its self-serving claim to moral authority and its sheer lack of humanity. Those perceptions are melded into a acute sense of recrudescent racism embedded in the societies of their former colonialists, exploiters, overseers and constant condescension. The Westerners’ message is that they still feel themselves superior to the others. That deep down, the others are intrinsically Wogs (Worthy Oriental Gentlemen), hajis, slants, spics or sambos – appellations in minds if not in (public) statements. The unkindest cut was the declaration by the EU’s de facto foreign minister Josepf Borrell: “The West has nurtured a ‘garden’ of peace and tolerance. “Most of the rest of the world is a jungle, and the jungle could invade the garden." He urged the assembled EU ambassadors to see themselves as “gatdeners….to go to the jungle.”

One could contest the grounds for such feelings of prejudicial disparagement. There is no debating, though, that they have spread and intensified in reaction to the West’s treatment of Gaza-plus. They will endure and they will color dealings with the West whether ignored or not.

Justification for the charge of hypocrisy levelled against Western countries is found in their radically different approach to other situations where alleged human rights abuses have occurred. The concurrent Ukrainian conflict is the outstanding case in point. There, Russia immediately was subjected to comprehensive punitive actions: unprecedented sanctions, theft of its monetary assets, swift indictment of Vladimir Putin as a war criminal (despite the absence of an investigation or documentary evidence or a judicial process) - accompanied all manner of military support for Ukraine. This despite the sharp divergence between alleged atrocities and actual events. The campaign is pursued relentlessly in 15 escalatory stages even though there has been dire blowback that has inflicted irreparable harm on European economies.

A similar example is provided by Secretary of State Tony Blinken’s latest ill-starred visit to Beijing. In private talks and in a concluding press conference, he admonished his hosts for their supposed violation of human rights in their treatment of the Uighur population in Xinjiang. He boldly indicted a China that is guilty of “genocide and crimes against humanity” there. Coming from the senior representative of a government engaged at that very moment in the slaughter of 35,000 Gazan civilians (roughly 15,000 children), this breathtaking display of chutzbah signaled the extent of the American self-entitlement to instruct others on matters of ethics while exempting itself from any judgment whatsoever...............................................................................

From: mbren@pitt.edu

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Although my country of South Africa is a royal card in the hands of players, international media is not paying attention to our most important election since 1994. May 29 is coming. Who will win the game, and our foreign policy.

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founding

Are You in South Africa now, Mike? And were You there in 1994? That had to have been an incredible moment... .

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Yep. Was 17 when Mandela released in 1990. Idiotically volunteered for national service when 18, thinking we were building a new country. 90s was a time of hope, 2000s disillusion, 2020s doom-filled. I now realise 1994 was a financial transaction, and the US was just protecting its supply of strategic minerals. The Oppenheimers continue to influence our country.

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founding

That had to be quite an experience growing up in apartheid and then living thru and seeing all the changes after apartheid ended.

Also, how do You think the election is going to turn out?

And how did the people of South Africa like their government's filing a complaint against Israel in the International Court of Justice?

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DA fake liberals in league with West, and funded by them, plus they control most of the Media and are supported by Soros-funded media and NGOs, so constant criticism.

Election - currently scary options. I expect our standard of living to continue declining. I've written about my country but don't want to post links here. Just hope we don;t have repeat of 2021 Unrest or worse. Half the country unemployed so tense times even if our country is damn pretty.

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State, a military organizations which wants the monopolies of theft and violence.

Theft in form of taxes, and violence …….

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founding

The State doesn't merely WANT the monopolies of theft and violence, Sol Son.

The State HAS the "legal" monopolies on theft and violence.

That's what makes it a "State."

It can [and will] do anything it's Citizens can't ~ or could, but won't ~ stop it from doing.

As the Old Woman informed Yossarian:

"Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing."

"What the hell are you talking about?" Yossarian shouted at her in bewildered, furious protest. How did you know it was Catch-22? Who the hell told you it was Catch-22?"

"The soldiers with the hard white hats and clubs. The girls were crying. 'Did we do anything wrong?' they said. The men said no and pushed them away out the door with the ends of their clubs. 'Then why are you chasing us out?' the girls said. 'Catch-22,' the men said. All they kept saying was 'Catch-22, Catch-22.' What does it mean, Catch-22? What is Catch-22?"

"Didn't they show it to you?" Yossarian demanded, stamping about in anger and distress. "Didn't you even make them read it?"

"They don't have to show us Catch-22," the old woman answered. "The law says they don't have to."

"What law says they don't have to?"

"Catch-22."

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Catch-22? I am not an American an although I lived there in the 80s I never read the book or watched the series.

Too me, as an outsider, it seams to be an oxymoron similar to the concept of “new normal”, a psychological warfare concept generated to justify the unjustifiable and fabricate the illusion of some sort of logic in some type of abstract concept which has no logic at all.

About the “state” I should have added, the state is an entity which steals from the Nation to sell out its assets and riches to its own family and business associates.

But in essence I guess we could say that the state is a corporation which sees it self above the law of men, dictates in favor of its enterprises and by ways of fear and monetary and psychological warfare, wants to rule over its subjects.

Nation on the other hand is that what our forefathers fought for to give us rights and laws to guide us in a better future.

A future in which wars should serve as lessons from our past, for to prevent us to fall back in the mistakes of our past, and not a way to enrich the ruthless and repress what is good.

Nato, UN, who, the wef at all, are the essence of the new world state, a one world governance ruled by ways fear and deception, a one world dictatorial governance composed by Genocidal eugenist supremacists which with their worldwide coup called operation code “cov ID 19” have taken over all medias, governments and institutions world wide.

A one world governance which from its offices of the United Nations, are now pushing to legalize Genocide and abolish all rules of war.

What we are now witnessing with the brutal repression of dissent on University grounds, is showing us the true face of a system which as lost lost all morals and values.

Perhaps this will be straw which brakes the camel’s back, I think is time for all people to manifest our physical support and protect our students from the brutality of those which blinded by their greed, have lost touch with the human values they were born with.

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As an alumni of the college protests in early 1970s, and the reaction of the ruling class as kicked off by the Powell Manifesto, I do not see any surprises in the reactions of college administrators or in the Police. Both of them decided long ago not to let the "next" student movement get out of hand.

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founding

Thank You for mentioning the Powell Memorandum, Steve. i had never heard of it and just scanning it answers a lot of Questions about a Lot of things that have happened in and to this Nation, and on and to this Planet. Lots to chew on there.

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TV repeatedly reminds me that our relatives are chimps. We are animals. We cannot escape it unless virtual reality goggles offer us a chance to be a robot.

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Here's a little History I just read;

Opinion: Student protests are what created the university as we know it

In recent days, protests by college students against Israel’s actions in the ongoing war in Gaza have popped up across the country. They are a complicated national phenomenon, like all protest movements containing multitudes of attitudes, personalities, agendas and reactions.

But what holds our attention as historians is how surprised some people have been to see college professors standing up to defend their students. For example, at Emory, philosophy department chair Noëlle McAfee was arrested trying to protect her students, and economics professor Caroline Fohlin was violently thrown to the ground and herself arrested for asking a police officer to stop mistreating another student. Concerned faculty at the University of Texas-Austin called a strike to protest police actions against peaceful protestors. At CUNY, faculty literally formed a wall to put their bodies between the protestors and the police.

But as we write in our book, “The Bright Ages,” faculty and students uniting against outside political interference is baked into the core of the modern university - in fact, it’s quite literally why we have an institution called a “university” at all................................................................................................

https://www.cnn.com/2024/04/30/opinions/campus-protest-what-created-university-medieval-perry-gabriele/index.html

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founding

Caitlin Johnstone’s 28 Apr 24 piece GEN Z JUST MIGHT SAVE THE WORLD makes the following bottom line, bullet-hits-the-bone point:

I keep seeing people expressing bafflement at the way Biden keeps alienating his base by shamelessly perpetuating the human butchery in Gaza. Doesn’t he care about getting re-elected?, they ask.

No, BIDEN DOES NOT CARE WHETHER HE GETS RE-ELECTED, AND NEITHER DO HIS EMPIRE MANAGER HANDLERS. What matters to them is advancing imperial interests in the middle east, not winning some pretend political puppet show that only exists to entertain and divert the common riff raff. THEY WILL HAPPILY LOSE THE ELECTION AND HAND THE GENOCIDAL BATON OFF TO TRUMP AND HIS EMPIRE MANAGER HANDLERS WHO SUPPORT ALL THE SAME AGENDAS AS BIDEN’S.

Biden loses literally nothing of material relevance by being a one-term president, so there’d be no reason for him to step back from all the agreements he’s made with the inner workings of the empire to get him where he’s at now even if he wanted to.

Full article at https://www.caitlinjohnst.one/p/gen-z-just-might-save-the-world ; EMPHASES added.

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